Appeals court rules on 15 cases


05-September-2012

Among the key rulings was the overturning of the Constitutional Court decision in which it had found the reappointment of judge Satybhooshun Gupt Domah unconstitutional, so he will continue to serve as a judge of the CA.

The court dismissed the appeal of Patrick Sopha who argued he had been wrongly convicted of the murder – and not manslaughter – of France Henriette whom he and the now-deceased Maxime Tirant killed during a June 5, 2009 robbery at Bel Ombre.

Marjorie Serret née Joubert will not have to serve a seven-day jail term imposed on her by a Supreme Court judge who on July 4, 2011 found her guilty of contempt of court during a divorce case she had lodged before the court.

He had granted her a stay of execution pending the appeal, which succeeded on Friday.

The bench comprised CA president Francis MacGregor and judges Anthony Fernando, Mathilda Twomey and January Msoffe.

Viral Dhanjee’s case against the appointment of judge Domah had said in part there were no exceptional circumstances to warrant a new term for Mr Domah, but the CA considered that the judge had contributed to the good performance of the CA, is well appreciated and esteemed by his colleagues and the public, is a capable team member with extensive qualifications and exceptional familiarity with the Civil Code of France and there was a difficulty getting a judge in the four months prior to his reappointment despite advertisements for a similar post.

“None of these factors would on their own add up to exceptional circumstances but taken together it is reasonable to conclude that the Constitutional Appointments Authority could have come to the decision that they did constitute exceptional circumstances,” the CA judges said.

In the Sopha case the judges noted that while the robbers – who were armed with a machete and a knife – could have left their victim to sleep in peace, but chose to attack him hitting him on the head with a stone and did not bother to either resuscitate him or call for help after wounding him.

Sopha had argued he and his late co-robber – who was shot dead by police after escaping from prison – intended to steal, not to kill.

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